Updated: Jul 15, 2021
There was excitement and anticipation in the air as I arrived at Kelly’s on King for Prog Dylan’s debut gig. A full house of people who had no idea what their night would hold and could have never predicted what they were about to behold. From food inspired lyrics to Star Wars, you’ll want to strap yourselves in for this one.
First up, we were blessed by support act Keen’s Mustard. Wholesome and quirky are the two words I would use to describe the Keen’s Mustard experience. Although their lyrical content is not complex and their subject matter is universal, they offer a fresh and refreshing voice in the indie pop/rock scene. More specifically they talk about things that may not feel profound enough to put into song but damn it was exactly what I wanted to hear and important nonetheless. I found myself grinning at gems such as “I need some new friends, the ones I’ve got they kind of suck. ‘Cause all they do is drink and smoke and go to clubs ‘cause they want to f*ck”.
Lead singer, Lachie Keen, mesmerised the audience with his gorgeous vocal tone and his offbeat but wonderfully likeable persona. However, Lachie in no shape or form carried the band. Keen’s Mustard is like the perfect hairdo, with not a single hair out of place. The five-piece band was unbelievably tight. To be honest, the second I walked in my mouth was open in amazement - all bands should aspire to sound this good live.
My personal highlights would have to be the melodica solo that WENT OFF by the beautifully talented keyboardist, Lauren Tsamouras, who then sheepishly apologised “I’m so sorry” after the song was done which made the crowd adore her even more. The main event, that thrilled the hardcore fans as well as the new audiences members, their song ‘Fish and Chippies’ had us all singing (yelling) along.
I’m not going to lie, I came to the gig for Prog Dylan and had no intention of finding a new favourite band but I was delightfully taken off guard. Keen’s Mustard just makes you feel good. Keen’s Mustard also seems to make your body dance whether you want it to or not.
Then it was time for the Prog Dylan experience. Their shenanigans began straight away when the drummer, Ryu Kodama, seemingly disappeared into thin air after the sound check (see photo below for reference). The boys from Prog Dylan made sure that their first gig started with a bang, or more accurately a toot. A dramatic entrance, they made their way through the crowd with a trumpet trio. The thing you have to understand is that none of the guys actually play the trumpet. Their horn harmonies came to a climax as they took the stage and Ryu ‘magically’ reappeared playing the drums with the fastest arms in the world.
How do I even begin to describe Prog Dylan? Their set is unlike anything you will see on stage today, let me tell you. The show or performative art piece was crafted from beginning to end from the brain of band leader, bassist and singer Adam Martinic, with absurd humour but also some grade A musicality. I have to admit prog rock isn't my thing, but this genre bending, fusion show was captivating.
It was a good night for music in Sydney, just like the support act, Prog Dylan played as a well-oiled machine. Ignoring the poetry reading, wrestling, the interlude where they pointed at random members of the audience, the cover of Duel of the Fates that led to a guitar lightsaber battle and then somehow turned into Toxic by Britney Spears...Prog Dylan is supported by a foundation of explosive, strong material. Adam cleverly uses the virtuosity of his band members, all highly trained jazz musicians, to tell his story. He pushes them and the audience's expectations and limitations to create something memorable. I can’t wait to see where the Prog Dylan journey goes because this was a very strong start.
I’ll leave you with this quote from an audience member, Harriet, “Prog Dylan can do Britney but Britney could never do Prog Dylan.”
Keep up with Prog Dylan by following their instagram.
See Keen's Mustard at their single launch on 20th May 2021 @ Waywards.
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